Capital, Power, and Inequality in Latin America

Capital, Power, and Inequality in Latin America

Capital, Power, and Inequality in Latin America

Capital, Power, and Inequality in Latin America

Synopsis

Over the last two decades, economic, political, and social life in Latin America has been transformed by the region's accelerated integration into the global economy. Although this transformation has tended to exacerbate various inequities, new forms of popular expression and action challenging the contemporary structures of capital and power have also developed. This volume is a comprehensive, genuinely comparative text on contemporary Latin America. In it, an international group of contributors offer multidimensional analyses of the historical context, contemporary character, and future direction of rural transformation, urbanization, economic restructuring, and the transition to political democracy. In addition, individual essays address the changing role of women, the influence of religion, the growth of new social movements, the struggles of indigenous peoples, and ecological issues. Finally, the book examines the influence of U. S. policy and of regionalization and globalization on the Latin American states.

Excerpt

Sandor Halebsky and Richard L. Harris

More than two decades ago two social scientists, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Enzo Faletto, published what soon became a classic analysis of the economic, political, and social development of Latin America, Dependency and Development in Latin America. in the preface to the English edition, they stated:

We seek a global and dynamic understanding of social structures instead of looking only at specific dimensions of the social process. We oppose the academic tradition which conceived of domination and socio-cultural relations as "dimensions," analytically independent of one another, and together independent of the economy, as if each one of these dimensions corresponded to separate spheres of reality. in that sense, we stress the socio-political nature of the economic relations of production, thus following the nineteenth century tradition of treating economy as political economy. This methodological approach, which found its highest expression in Marx, assumes the hierarchy that exists in society is the result of established ways of organizing the production of material and spiritual life. (1979:ix)

The present volume of comparative essays on contemporary Latin America follows in the same intellectual tradition. To analyze and make sense of the many complex and changing conditions in Latin America, we use a comparative, regional perspective similar to that employed by Cardoso and Faletto. Moreover, to provide an integrative framework that encompasses the diversity of conditions analyzed by the contributors in this volume, we have selected . . .

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